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June 11th, 2009

King: We Need Energy Solutions That Lower Prices, Create American Jobs

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Written by: The Iowa Republican
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steve-kingHall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra once described the numerous back to back home runs hit by his New York Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris in the 1960’s as being “like deja vu all over again.” Yogi’s explanation could just as easily describe the current actions of liberals on Capitol Hill.

If you are planning a summer vacation or filled your vehicle up recently, no doubt you have noticed that over the past few months gas prices have started to rise higher and higher with each passing week. While prices are not expected to reach the highs of last summer, your family is most likely still feeling the effects of increased pump prices.

Just like last summer, when we were all paying $4 for a gallon of gas, liberals in Washington refuse to take action to lower gas prices and expand our domestic energy production. Last year Speaker Pelosi left Washington to go on a book tour without allowing a single vote to increase our energy production.

This year, instead of a national book tour, Speaker Pelosi packed her bags for a trip to China. She and liberal Democrats still refuse to discuss and debate solutions to lower energy costs for American families.

Rather than working to lower prices, Speaker Pelosi and liberals from Massachusetts and California are actually attempting to pass a massive new energy tax on every American family, small business owner and farmer. Their “cap and trade” legislation would set a limit on how much carbon a company could emit as part of its production process. Any company exceeding the government-mandated limit would be forced to purchase emissions allowances from other companies that do not exceed the limit.

Iowa’s families, farmers and small businesses will be hit hard if this proposal passes Congress. A recent study looked at a plan similar to their “cap and trade” proposal and estimated that the impact of this plan would result in $3,128 in higher energy costs for every American household each year.

Instead of new energy taxes and the same high prices, we need forward-thinking solutions that will get Washington out of the way and foster market-based approaches to meeting America’s future energy needs. Our country needs to grow our share of the world’s energy pie to lower your price at the pump and create more American jobs.

We need to start with more oil and gas exploration here in the United States. I support lifting drilling restrictions on ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf and oil shale in the Mountain West. Environmentally safe exploration in these areas would increase our domestic energy supply and create new jobs without disturbing local habitats.

Western Iowa also has an important role to play as a renewable energy export center. Here in Iowa we can produce more renewable fuels like ethanol, biodiesel and wind energy to help meet a larger worldwide demand.

American also needs to again develop nuclear energy. Despite the enormous success of nuclear energy, no new nuclear reactor has been ordered since the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

The Department of Energy has stated the best way for utility companies to reduce carbon emissions is to increase their supply of nuclear energy. Rather than pass a “cap and trade” bill that caps growth and trades American jobs, we need to tap into clean and emissions-free nuclear energy.

These are common-sense solutions that will protect our environment, lower energy costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create American jobs. It is time for Congress to pass an “all-of-the-above” solution that offers more affordable energy and leads to energy independence.

Written by Congressman Steve King


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The Iowa Republican





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